Friday 25 July
Today was to be a relatively short walk compared to most done up to now, so when the alarm went off at 6.50 am I snoozed it. Over half an hour later we woke feeling very naughty that it was way past the time that we normally get out of bed, but reminded ourselves that we had the luxury of less miles to cover today.
I cycled to the local Boulangerie to collect our Pain au Chocolat ( elevenses ) and some Pain au Cereal ( with cheese for lunch ). Tony went on his way with his route instructions and GPS with french maps successfully loaded to it ( very high tech ).
I had decided that today I would not stray from tarmac. The day before had been a successful one in the sense that we spent the whole day together and were able to confer when confused re navigation, but I am sure that I spent more than 50 % of the day pushing the bike. The terrain had been mostly farm tracks with big grooves or may stones making keeping the bike steady and moving it forward very very hard. My right wrist and arm are much much stronger than they were before this trip due to all the pushing that I have done. I used to be proud of my right arm muscles when I was a teenager working in the bakery at Tescos lifting crates of bread, well I am proud again now and challenge anyone to an arm wrestle !
My plan came to fruition, and 9 miles later I rolled into Tournehem-sur-Hem. Tony arrived at the village square soon after and we sat like locals outside a pub ( except there were no locals in sight as it was 2 pm - siesta time ). We chatted with another English couple who were travelling by car to Reims - it would take them approx 2 hours. We were flabbergasted as we estimated 2 weeks for such a journey. Our sense of distance vs time to travel that distance is now rather out of touch with the modern world. We think that we have travelled very very far because it has taken us days and nights, but in fact a car could travel just over an hour how far we walk in a week.
The campsite was only another half mile from town and we arrived there at a record early time of day for us. It was lovely to shower, set up camp, make tea, read etc at a leisurely pace. We sat around in the shade, however, as it was still blisteringly hot.
The remaining hours of the day were spent in the on-site bar on the internet searching for and booking future accommodation.
Distance - 9 miles
Distance since Helmsley - 527.75 miles